Only a madman would manage Arsenal; and some of those will say “no”

By Tony Attwood

One of the slightly amusing things one finds when editing Untold are the comments that come in which have either deliberately or accidentally misunderstood the thrust of an article.

Many of these are just so daft, and so regularly from the same people, that I tend to edit them out, but occasionally there comes in a misunderstanding which makes me wonder if I really have lost the ability to write coherent sentences.

One such instance happened this week and because I am in Australia and have a fair amount of free time I had a chance to consider while strolling along Manly Beach in the late afternoon sun.

A while back I wrote a little piece inviting a journalist, who had written an article about Mr Wenger, to show us what he could do in management by taking on a 9th division team where there happened to be a vacancy.

One reader wrote back at length saying (and I paraphrase) “so we can’t comment on managers unless we have been one, we can’t comment on bankers and their activities unless we’ve worked in banking….” and so on, and on.  And on.

Now I didn’t think I was saying that at all – after all I wasn’t really expecting anyone to take on an onerous part time job just because I said they should – that would be too daft for words.  Nor was I trying to stop commentaries – if I was I would write articles, not blogs with space for comments.

Rather I was making the point that if one is going to criticise a manager one either needs to do so because one has been or is a manager oneself and can point to ones experience, or one needs to take into account the broad perspectives of the issue and try and grasp the complexities of the situation.

Such perspectives, as I have suggested until I am green in the face, would be that not all players are available just because one club wants them, that many clubs are chasing the same player, that making a mistake and buying the wrong player can be a very costly error financially and psychologically across the club, that not every player can fit into every system and play with the players already at the club, and that some players simply don’t want to come to this club or even this country.

Now these points don’t fit well with the notion that one can say, “it is obvious to everyone that we need more defenders and Wenger is an idiot for not getting them.”  On doing the sort of analysis that I have suggested in summary above, one might  well still reach his or her conclusion again, but at least setting out the analysis would be better than the simple statement, “he’s obviously an idiot, get rid of him”.

I suppose I was quite taken by this commentary from a reader seemingly opposed to the editorial view of Untold, however, because it mentioned bankers, and by implication the banking crisis of recent years.

By chance I wrote a little about the banking crisis in its early stages, and in fact even mentioned the firm Long Term Capital Management (known in the trade as Short Term Crazy Banking) in June 2009 on Untold.  A few other publications reprinted elements of the commentary, which was rather nice.

Now I am not a banker, and never have been, but I followed the crisis from the collapse of LTCM, through the refusal of Lehman Brothers to support them when they were in trouble (with the infamous, “We don’t deal with firms that are a bunch of capital letters”) and the retaliation of the rest of Wall Street who did bail out LTCM, in not supporting Lehman when they hit the rocks.

I felt able to write about such things because I read up on the issues, compared banks, looked at the whole process of collapse, talked to a few people, and drew some conclusions, while admitting along the way that there could be alternative explanations for some of the events that we were seeing unfolding.

But in essence my conclusion at the time was roughly right.  Britain was in real trouble because Margaret Thatcher had liberalised the banking sector in London with the “big bang”.  Canada would come out of it unscathed as they still had regulation.

No banker I, and indeed no football manager I, either.  But I do like a bit of reasoned analysis which is not of the utterly simplistic “we need these two players and because we have never rectified that problem, Wenger should go” variety.  (Or the financial equivalent, “kill the bankers” although that does have a certain appeal.)

The fact that with all their gas billions Man City, and with all their marketing billions Man Utd, are not top of the league, shows that, exactly as the Cost per Point analyses showed, money does not exactly equal points.  Lots of money equals a few points, but that’s about it.

This simple fact shows that football is not about common sense, but is about something far deeper.   The fact that Liverpool and Tottenham both wanted to go out and buy a couple of big names to replace the department Suarez and Bale shows that just because a club wants to do something, it doesn’t mean they can make it happen, not even with £80m or so to burn.

Indeed the fact that Liverpool found it so difficult to return to the Champions League after their fall from grace (there’s an Untold article way back in 2009 pointing out the problems they faced) shows that basic “we’re a big club, we’ve a right to be there” attitudes don’t work well either.

On the other hand the fact that sacking the manager does not bring success is fairly well shown – as Tottenham fans will surely attest.

Football is complicated on the pitch and off the pitch.  As for finances, no economists can ever agree what is actually going on, let alone how to correct it.  Put the whole thing together and what have you got?  Something profoundly puzzling that can’t be explained away by saying that Wenger’s making mistakes and it is time for him to go.

Not least because who, of any particular merit, would want to come and manage at Arsenal, knowing, as he will do, that there is a good reason to believe that there is something naughty going on in PGMOL vis a vis Arsenal, knowing that it is downright impossible to get a good word for the club out of the media, and knowing that although most of the AAA don’t go to the Emirates, there are quite a few of them out there writing their simplistic attacks on the club and its manager every day.

In reality, you’d have to be mad to want the job.  And are we really going to do better with a madman in the job?  I hear the name Ronald Koeman being mentioned.  Do you think he is really crazy enough to want to work at Arsenal?   After all, look at what is happening to the last Southampton manager to come to north London.  And the AAA is much bigger than the ATHTH.

The books


67 Replies to “Only a madman would manage Arsenal; and some of those will say “no””

  1. I’m being off-topic but please bear with my rant. I want to confess that I still feel physically sick everytime I see Fabregas in a Chelsea shirt and RvP in a Utd shirt, not to mention the twat Na$ri in a city shirt and Adebayor in a spurs shirt. Fabregas came out saying something to the effect that Arsenal still has a place in his heart but if fans don’t understand then they;re stupid. I was like, how dare you! Fans don’t have the option of f**king off at the slightest hint of trouble at the club. We invest our emotions, our money, our time, a part of our life in the club – it is not a business or a job or just like going to a movie for us – how can they not understand it?

    I got my answer today, albeit from an ex Spurs owner, after chancing upon a very old article which quotes him as saying :

    “Football players ar] scum, total scum. They’re bigger scum than journalists, don’t you understand? They don’t know what honesty or loyalty is. They’re the biggest scum that walk on this planet and, if they weren’t football players, most of them would be in prison, it’s as simple as that.”

    Maybe there are a few honorable exceptions, but I agree with most of the comment.

    Even the Flamster has said all the right things about there being an “unfinished business”, the reality is that he too had buggered off for a big pay packet when we needed him, and came back when he was out of contract and regressed, and has already cost us quite a few points this season.

  2. Been very busy last couple of days so catching up. Still find it hard to credit the number of mindless knee-jerk criticisms.

    It really is very simple. Arsenal are struggling so far this season for two reasons:

    1. The sheer number of injuries.
    2. The need to integrate influential new players (a problem also very apparent at Liverpool, Tottenham, Man Utd and elsewhere).

    Could also add the post-World Cup reaction from all our players who were there at a late stage (as happens after every World Cup and often Euros as well).

    The players get fit and the team harmonises around the best tactics for the players on the field and we will be winning again.

    Also particularly enjoyed Walter’s article on Dortmund’s support.

    It has been said before, but can we transfer in their supporters to replace those of ours’ who don’t seem capable of it? Adebayor has been slated, but – for once – I think he is right.

    Still, great for Arsenal that the Totts support is turning on their own team. Can only make matters worse for them. A very big lesson there for some of our “supporters”.

    Also saw someone comment that an anti-Wenger demo is planned for MU… absolutely unbelievable. Unfortunately, I can’t be there for that game but hope that any misguided soul participating is (verbally – no place for physical violence) put in their place by the (relatively) silent loyal majority.

  3. Tony, another accurate representation.

    The other day I posted on here comments relating to players responsibilities and their own in game management. I said it was all well and good slaughtering the manager but what about the players.

    This morning on a Radio show Ray Parlour was asked about Arsenals defending. He said our defending is fine, cited the injuries and the inexperience we have but claimed that it was the decisions our players are making when we take a lead that is the problem. He said during his period working under Arsene Wenger, the players were trusted to manage certain situations. They knew what to do. When you go a goal up, players like Dixon, Adams, Gilberto, Vieira, etc would be making sure we spent the next ten minutes takling the sting out of the game. The players know the other team has to be more adventurous and therefore it is essential to take greater care with the ball and sit a bit deeper. This will create opportunies on the break, so there is no need to play as you would against a defensive minded team.

    So Parlour is placing a large degree of the responsibility on the players, which were my comments the other day. Not because I am a football expert but simply because it is common sense. It wasnt Wenger playing hopeful balls and playing for himself.

    I am not saying the manager does not have a reponsibility to make the players understand this, he does but there seems too many people that are ‘assuming’ Arsene Wenger cannot have done this.

    Mind you, Arsene Wenger seems to have spent years being a punch bag for a lot of people, including the media. He is never unlucky with injuries, instead he gets blamed for them! Whenever he wins it is down to the opposition being poor. After the FA Cup & Community Shield wins, the AAA refused to give him credit, yet again it was because the other team were ‘Only Hull’ and Man City ‘weren’t interested’.

    It is a shame but that is how it is for him and our great football club.

  4. “If one is going to criticise a manager one either needs to do so because one has been or is a manager oneself and can point to ones experience, or one needs to take into account the broad perspectives of the issue and try and grasp the complexities of the situation”

    Sorry, but by using that logic people shouldn’t write comments praising the manager either. I’m fairly sure lots of Mr Wenger’s critics feel that they are taking into account broad perspectives and understand the complexities of the situation – just because they happen to interpret their finding differently than you do, it doesn’t make their viewpoint any less valid. Plus, the list of people who do meet the above criteria for criticism is growing daily – dismissing their comments as media bias is, I’m afraid, simply being wilfully ignorant.

  5. Kev , don’t want to pick a fight but there’s a few open ended comments there . If Wenger has told the players then either they are too thick to understand or else they are not listening. If the older guard are telling the younger ones to be more circumspect then maybe we have a culture where they feel that they don’t have to pay attention . All of this comes back to the fact that these players were bought to the club under the manager’s remit . So if they are the wrong players that comes back to him and if they are the right ones then they need to be taught better. I said in another thread that I believe a shake up in the training methods are overdue and in all probability that will take new eyes to appreciate.

  6. I can’t seem to find it now, but I remember reading an excellent piece of analysis which delved into cost per point, but it also took into account wages. It seemed like a more realistic way to judge clubs/managers, and it too showed that Wenger has constantly overperformed, at Arsenal, by about 20-30 million pounds per year, compared to how Arsenal SHOULD have been performing, as a result of their wage bill.

  7. Thanks God for Untold and all of you guys (like proudkev) who make intelligent and balanced comments here. It is so depressing and infuriating to see this constant barage of abuse shovelled at AW by legions of idiots and those braiwashed by media unwittingly (or not) undermining all good work being carried out at our beloved club.Slaying Arsene for every mistake he makes (and who doesnt, darling Mourinho? DONT MAKE ME LAUGH) is so ironic as those who do it make the same mistake over and over again supporting our opposition, media bias and anti-Arsenal punditry. It may alsu put off some of the players we all would like to come to our club. Its so short-sighted it beggars belief.

  8. Porter. No problem, I’m not the violent type! I was being open ended. I was simply trying to offer some balance and perspective. I would agree that ultimately team selection and tactics are the Managers responsibility. He will discuss this with his coaching staff and check players fitness levels with the fitness team but ultimately he makes the call. However, it is the Managers alone that get judged, harshly or otherwise, whenever teams get poor results and some Managers are treated more harshly than others. The point I was trying to make was that instead of blaming Wenger for everything, the responsibility has to be shared. It isn’t managers that make blind passes, stupid tackles or miss open goals it is players. It isn’t Managers who get red cards.

    So in other words there is collective responsibility.

    As I said earlier, I played at Semi-pro and as players we all knew what to do as situations change in a game. Of course the Manager drilled into us our responsibilities but there is nothing he can do if we don’t do what is instructed. There are egos to contend with and fatigue too.

    So all I was trying to do was add a bit of perspective where there seems to be none.

    However, I have been critical but as I am not a Professional Manager and have not one millionth of the knowledge Wenger has, I do not assume what I say is correct – As the media, pundits and some fans do. I know better than him. My personal observations are that we have poor in game management from the players. Some are irresponsible, I have criticised Ramsey for this and we are too quiet. I don’t agree with pushing both full backs on, I would see-saw. I certainly feel that as much as I appreciate and admire Arteta, we need more athleticsm in that position. I acknowledge that the loss of Koscielny and Debouchy have hampered us defensively and do feel that Mr. Wenger made a mistake in not replacing Vermaelen.

    But I really dont buy into all this nonsense that Wenger is some ignoramous who doesn’t know how to play tactically or defend. The fact he took us to the Champions league final hardly conceding a goal, has won two doubles, three titles and gone a season unbeaten and has to compete on an uneven playing field, is my evidence.

    I just want criticsm to be fair and balanced – not the garbage generated by the media and the Arsenal fans acting as hangmen.

  9. First of all Tony; I believe the weather and what have you down-under has inspired you to an even higher level of writing – I totally agree with your thoughts and the perspective in which you analyze things…so refreshing!!!

    Secondly @ Pete
    November 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm


  10. Kev , we are very much on the same page , you highlight many of the things that I feel too . I don’t get to London Colney , many years ago I played next door but I often wonder what goes on over that fence . Personally I am not for or against our manager , I just want to see that the problems I witness from my seat /standing area are addressed and that the players adhere to the orders laid down before the match. I don’t see this and as you highlighted with flicks , back heels and forays upfield too many of our players seem to be loose cannons and there is no-one on the pitch or off of it, reminding them of their responsibilities. If it takes a change in coaching personnel or a change in people’s authority to do things then once again it comes back to the manager to make those changes.

  11. Proud Kev at 3.46, that post is just packed through with good points. You do criticise, but do it constructively. Can only agree, these things are not all Wengers fault. After the Swansea game, he looked exasperated, let down….almost as if he gave virtually the same players a chance after Anderlect, and some let him down again, not through lack of effort, just irresponsibility when it comes to defending as a team. What can wenger do when they get on the pitch…would they even hear his instructions…was he letting things happen for them to learn a lesson? Though I do question the substitutions it must be said, and not signing sufficient replacement on losing not only TV, but also the likes of Bac, Iggy, Jenks.
    There is a issue defending. This team have 2 leaders, Per and MA. In the absence of the latter, and Per being too far away from the attackers to influence them I wonder if we are getting a Sanchez effect, with this wonderful player leading from the front, but possibly to the detriment of the team, especially with the lack of experience in the back 4. Are the likes of Ox,Cazorla and Ramsey taking their lead from Sanchez too much….a bit like Song did from RVP? Only a theory.
    Wenger has had his words about Ramsey…rare for him to do that. MA and Per have also had a few words…talking about serious football for 90 mins. The senior pros and coaching team will be at a quiet Colney for 2 weeks, they have quiet time to come up with answers, and rectify what they can until Jan or the injured return. If the manager is doing things wrong, they need to tell him. If it is the players, get the senior pros on board. I suspect some players may need a bit of a rocket up the Arsenal. I suspect the manager needs to focus a bit more on the defence, substitutions and communication on the pitch. But above all, we need the likes of Giroud, Arteta , Kos and Debuchy out there fighting battles, organising, and Ozil, ignoring the cajoling of the hard working, passionate, winning mentality, but frantic Sanchez, keeping the ball and releasing it at just the right moment for the team, not individual.
    It is not all Wengers fault, but he must lead in the correction of what is wrong, he may have some hard decisions

  12. @proudkev
    November 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Your post is very accurate, and I especially like your two paragraphs below:

    “But I really dont buy into all this nonsense that Wenger is some ignoramous who doesn’t know how to play tactically or defend. The fact he took us to the Champions league final hardly conceding a goal, has won two doubles, three titles and gone a season unbeaten and has to compete on an uneven playing field, is my evidence.

    “I just want criticsm to be fair and balanced – not the garbage generated by the media and the Arsenal fans acting as hangmen.”

    So true!!

  13. Thank you. You put it better than I was trying to and failing. Reasonable criticism is fine. The problems is when you go to extremes like saying Wenger is clueless. If you are so magnificent that Wenger is clueless compared to your vast knowledge, then why don’t you prove it by managing a team.

  14. Mandy. Yes I concur with much of that. He looked pretty angry. There were several times when he waved his hands at poor passes and poor decisions. I maintain my view that the players let him down. I do also feel that had Chambers had more experience he would have been screaming at the Ox to provide more cover. Again, the injuries have had an effect and that is not an excuse its a statement of fact.

    A manager can hardly be heard from the touchline, so not much he could do. It comes down to the players in game management and our lack of leaders.

    I feel for Wenger. For years he’s been utterly screwed with the stadium and the oil money yet he’s stayed loyal. Through that whole period and even now, all he gets is constant ridicule and abuse.

    Meanwhile, Man City get fined for ‘cheating’ FFP and Chelsea go from one disgraceful episode to another (under the Billion quid investment of a Russian thief).

    I suspect Mr. Wenger is a victim of his superior intelligence, being French and for managing a club most people envy called Arsenal. That combination is just too much for some people. That is why it is quite funny hearing a Chelsea supporting ex drug and drink addict with a gambling addiction, calling Wenger clueless and the media/AAA lapping it up. Come on, how can anybody take these people over Wenger when they display the judgement and intellectual capacity of a Lemming.

    Yet we are the bad guys.

  15. “That is why it is quite funny hearing a Chelsea supporting ex drug and drink addict with a gambling addiction, calling Wenger clueless and the media/AAA lapping it up. Come on, how can anybody take these people over Wenger when they display the judgement and intellectual capacity of a Lemming.”

    hahahahaha PERFECT!!!

  16. ‘Only a madman would want to manage Arsenal’

    Are you saying Arsen Wenger is mad?
    If it’s such a chore , then why did Mr Wenger extend his contract last season , when he easily could’ve left on his own terms after wining a major trophy, thus proving his doubters wrong.
    Surely it’s not the £8M per season he gets for his services. I’m sure he’s set and doesn’t have to worry about paying bills on time.

    So if it’s not the money , then it must be something else. Something like perhaps the fact that Arsenal job is one of the top six or seven managerial appointments in European football , which pretty much means in World football as well and there would be managers jumping at a chance to manage this club.

    Great city, a high profile league, great infrastructure and fan base , and reasonable amount of funds for transfers.

    A downside? – High expectations.
    Not like there aren’t any of those at Real Madrid , Bayern , Barca or even Tottenham.
    Please forgive me for mentioning Tottenham in the same breath as the other three 🙂

    I suspect when the time comes , Arsenal board will have a bigger problem choosing from those more than few ‘madman’ , rather than not having any choices at all.

  17. Wenger is mad because after all that he has done for the club–more than any other manager, and perhaps more than any manager has ever done for a club (I am willing to be challenged on this statement :D)–people who call themselves Arsenal supporters shout the worst abuse at him imaginable, after years of working with no money whatsoever and yet still bringing us Champions League football and a brilliant stadium, after all that he still wants to serve the club. And let’s not get started on the media. What other manager would put up with all that? Certainly not The Great and Magnificent Jose Mourinho. “No money? NO MONEY? Bugger that, I’m off!”

  18. Forgive me Tom, but I see it like this; AW puts ALL the crap he has been getting surved to him by the MEDIA (from the get go 18 years ago), and of the supposed ‘supporters’ (the last few years) – Completely to one side, and BINS it, whilst staying LOYAL to a task and project he undertook with AFC…and many would think he is “mad” because MOST never in their life carry any task to completion…hence end up as FAILURES in life!!!

  19. “High Expectations” were and are demanded in all his tenure with AFC. He took over with a certain squad, added to it, they won several trophies and he and his ethical, methodical work, made possible a move into a state of the art stadium (most would envy from the sides you mention), and managed to still give us loyal supporters CL football continuously for 16 seasons ON A SHOE STRING BUDGET…that to me is DELIVERY on the HIGH EXPECTATIONS!! Yet he has “EXPERTS” telling him how he should have done it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  20. Tom,

    Was the Arsenal manager job one of the best 6 in European/world football when Arsene took over in 1996 or was he getting £8 million then? If you can’t answer yes then that argument is moot. Wenger took Arsenal to where we are today and his salary is in line with what managers of his calibre are earning.

    Contrary to what many like to believe, the Arsenal board is not composed of stupid yes-men. If Arsene isn’t earning his pay, he would have been sacked ages ago. I want to trust men whose investment is at stake on this matter more than the pundits or the fans.

    I do agree with you that Tony was being hyperbolic with the “madman” line. They may not succeed at it but loads of managers will be thrilled to manage Arsenal. Heck, despite my limited knowledge of football tactics and management, I’d happily take the job if offered 🙂

  21. “” I want to trust men whose investment is at stake on this matter . “”

    That’s Stan and Alisher who has no say then, as the others all sold out.

  22. porter,

    I take it back. You, an anonymous Internet commenter, are the authority on how Arsenal should run its business. I bow to your superior insights. Please give me more!

  23. Finally – I don’t think at all that Tony’s wording of “madman” is “hyperbolic”, simply because it would take a man like Wenger (not many in the world of football IMHO match his qualities), who would undertake such a task and project.

    “madman” hence in the sense that he undertook something that most would SHY AWAY from!!

  24. apo Armani,

    I am willing to agree with Tom on the word (madman) because while I understand agree with Tony’s sentiment on this matter, I don’t think only a “madman” can or will do the job. Not by a long stretch. Spurs sack their managers all the time and they still get manager after manager to replace them. Now that is a job that one would think only a madman would take but ….. well, you know how it is.

  25. Bootoomee
    November 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Lets be honest only a demented man would take on Spurs 🙂

  26. And the next madman will have a bit more money to spend (thanks to Wenger and the board) but never on the levels of Man C and Chelsea.
    So he will always be working on a controlled budget and will have to make choices

  27. “Lets be honest only a demented man would take on Spurs” and I am not being hyperbolic…am I? 🙂 🙂

  28. Great description of Merse Kev, I thought a lot of him when he wore the shirt, but sadly he has become a media whore. Still, he can always join the best friends wife shaggers, the racist and eye gouger at his club of choice…and I haven’t even started on their owner.
    Just re-reading your post, amazed no critics have come back and said it was Keown alone that got us to the CL final…..because there are people out there who genuinely believe that…..not to say the wonderful Martin Keown didn’t do his bit of course.
    Agree with what you say on wengers loyalty and superior intelligence…..much maligned qualities in today’s want it all now,vacuous world of us talented media driven celebrity. If wenger does have faults, and I guess we all do, it is his loyalty..
    As for the players letting him down, I am sure he does not want to turn talented intelligent footballers into Jose’s robot types, but he probably will if he has to for a while, wonder if we will see a repeat of what wenger did a couple years ago to make us more solid, think some may need it.
    We will always be the bad guys.

  29. Tony,
    I don’t really want to clog up an entertaining & informative football blog with non-football matters, but the UK’s “Big Bang” – in parallel with the USA’s dismantling of the restrictions formerly imposed by both the McFadden & Glass-Steagall Acts – still left the banks’ regulation under the Bank of England.

    It was actually Gordon Brown, as Chancellor, who granted the BofE “independence” in its interest-setting role (he gets a “plus” mark for that), free of overt political interference. Unfortunately, to counter-balance the concentration of influence, he removed regulation from the BofE’s brief & set up a new body (the Financial Services Authority) to regulate the City. (At least two, if not more, “minus” marks.)

    Most of the experienced regulators were reluctant to leave their prestigious employer/positions in the heart of the City for a) a new body & b) in the Docklands. Thus was the quality of regulation steadily diminished, staffed by people largely unskilled to deal with the potential impact of new derivative products: mostly those who could no longer cut the mustard as “real” bankers – failed poachers turned even less successful game-keepers.

  30. @Walter

    “And the next madman will have a bit more money to spend (thanks to Wenger and the board)”

    Much like parents who make numerous sacrifices day in day out so as their children can have a better life!!!

    Who notices??

    Some children maybe when they intern become parents.

    Thankless job/task really.

  31. Not at all my boy , just pointing out that the board actually have no investment in the club other than Mr Kroenke . Mr Usmanov also has shares but has no say in the running of the club. Not a comment at all on how things should be run , just a statement of public record. .

  32. Off topic, but an interesting article on our man of the moment, you know the guy who critics say wants out……
    Ok, it is in the UK press, so may not be a word of truth, but if it is genuine, this fabulous player is still adapting, to other players, in some cases their language, and the teams notoriously difficult to learn patterns….that took even Thierry and Dennis a while to master. The article states sanchez is aware of things he must improve on as well.
    At face value, an interesting read.

  33. Bootoomee

    I don’t disagree with anything you said , nor was I sugesting Arsen Wenger is getting overcompensated for his services either.

    I was however making a point against the use of hyperbolies by bloggers, journalist and posters.

    ‘Only a madman would want to manage Arsenal ‘ is just the opposite side of the same spectrum to ‘Wenger is clueless ‘.

    Both are designed to provoke a reaction , rather than a debate.

  34. Tony, I thought the comment about the Prime Ministers, was the crudest!

    A new Prime Minister has the backing of “Yes Minister” in Whitehall.

    David Moyes inherited a Premier League winning “back-up” coaching staff, who were paid off.

    Examine those 2 examples, and who got the blame?

    Too many have opinions based on limited exposure, to the known facts.

    The Prime Ministers agreed, but it was the Chancellors of the Exchequers, that changed the Bank of England.

    Even Tony shows his bias at times. Lol!

  35. Walter, with FFP biting (Man City were sanctioned as you know, Chelsea have reduced their expenditure to the point that they have spend less net than we have since Maureen returned in summer 2013) we should have a comparable budget to both of those sides. Only ManU should be able to out spend ourselves in the coming seasons. True we have to see the sugar daddy funds influence wane as players bought in previous years fall out of the equation, but there is no reason to expect that we will be disadvantaged for much longer. We have superior gate receipts and much more room for improvement in commercial dealings than the two ‘new money’ clubs. So a pretty attractive proposition for any potential candidate.

  36. andy,
    I think the “strange” transfer for 50M had something to do with Chelsea balancing their books. 50M for Luiz….come on you know that smells…

  37. Can we kill this £8m a year bollox please?

    Firstly, I do think it is fair reward for someone who has taken Arsenal as far as he has, as a previous commenter pointed out.

    Secondly, Chelsea have “spent” over £100mm over the last 10 years compensating fired managers and coaching staff – and the clubs from whom they have poached their new man. Tottenham are probably heading that way too – although don’t know the exact number.

    In the same period, in fact over 18 years, Arsenal have not had to spend a penny compensating a fired manager or another club.

    Moral of the story? The real financial cost is incurred by frequently changing manager.

    In any event, it is blindingly obvious that Wenger is not doing it for the money – this is his vocation, his mission. He apparently lives a relatively austere life so presumably is saving most of his income.

  38. Tom,

    You gotta forgive Tony on this one. You know he means well and I don’t begrudge him for using the word but, like you, I believe that it is a gross exaggeration for effect.

  39. Eight million…..if that really is true, and I have seen nothing in the accounts……well how many years of CL qualification, how many years of developing and sadly at sometimes having to sell players for huge profits…..the stadium, the new training facilities….bringing in and developing some of the best players on the planet……..having to work with owners at loggerheads, boardroom changes……one year, losing much of his transfer funds to pay off the inland revenue. Performing under all the aaa/media abuse, the xenophobia, the disgusting false allegations from the media, family intrusion, PGMOL , EPL bias, nursing his players back to health from the leg breakers…the FFP busting petrodollar boys, perhaps hostile takeover attempts, sacrificing jobs at the big clubs, refusing to join and coming into conflict with, yet still for years managing to compete with a self interest system in the premier league encompassing refs, media, the authorities,other clubs and God knows who else….but I think we can all make an educated guess.
    Wenger has helped bring in hundreds of millions into the club at a time of vulnerability.
    Eight million a year…..sporting bargain of the century

  40. The monied clubs will do whatever to distort FFP which is why eventually it will fail, there are too many vested interests for it to succeed.

  41. Chelsea can live on the sale of all the young promising players they have out on loan for years to come. Look what they did with Lukaku. How many do they have out? 25 or something like that. They could probably field a mid table team with just their loanees.

  42. “That is why it is quite funny hearing a Chelsea supporting ex drug and drink addict with a gambling addiction, calling Wenger clueless and the media/AAA lapping it up. Come on, how can anybody take these people over Wenger when they display the judgement and intellectual capacity of a Lemming.”

    Addiction is not a sign of stupidity/lack of knowledge and it is ignorant to think so. If we want to take the moral highground (is it the moral highground? Im really not too sure, but you get what i mean haha) over the AAA we shouldnt stoop to their level and throw about ill-informed comments to discredit other peoples opinions. We are better than that :D!

    On a more ‘on topic’ note; i really wish that on Sunday, Wenger would have used Bellerin at RB and Chambers instead of Monreal. In my un-educated opinion it seemed obvious that it was the injection of pass that was out-doing Chambers each and every single time. I feel that making the substitution wouldnt have been that much of a risk, as Bellerin couldnt have done much worse than Chambers (sorry i know that sounds really harsh, but im just trying to be completely honest).

  43. I think everything we do in life must have or serve a good purpose. If you are gonna hit your boy for mistakes that he did, he will probably will never do it again, but what happens when he grows up? He will be violent and will repay the same ‘faith’ back to you. There are fans who feel that the manager should be sacked without thinking of the consequences. There are fans who condemn and insult players without taking responsibility. There are fans who criticize the club without thinking of what they are really saying. But good grace, there are fans who think they are helping with ‘constructive’ criticism, for the love of the game and club, try to put things right in the way they feel is progressive. However, such work and grace should have been done properly, time and space. If such comments brings more harm than good, then you should not complain if we call you AAA. If you are gonna criticize and bad-mouth a boxer, it should be done properly before and after a fight (I compare a boxing fight to the whole EPL fixture season as that’s how bad and brutish is EPL). You don’t run your mouth when the boxer is down bleeding on the mat. What do you want Arsene to do? Concentrate on the team or respond to your criticism? He had conquered EPL before without pressures and burdens on his head. Let him do his work first. It’s still early. Wanna help out? Do a Borussia Dortmund fans at worst of times. Lessons to be learnt there.

  44. I had to jump to the bottom of the page to make my comments. I know it’s unfair, but I also know when am tired (weary is a better word), of the quality of ‘support’ displayed by ‘fans’. For me, Walter, Tony and your team at UA, you are my heroes. You deserve medals for what you’re doing. I think your stand on anything Arsenal speaks a lot about who you are, good men (and they are hard to find). “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. You guys are true friends.
    Too many analysts and ‘opinion’-mongers. Too many people who know what AW should have done, but didn’t do. Too many are quick to shake their heads at him in disgust. Too few true, loyal friends. When you are in a tight spot and things are not going well for you, that’s when you know the value of loyalty. That’s who you’ll rather have in your corner.

  45. Upon reading the Bliar article, I felt chills in my back.
    Along with cold sweats… Pure fear / panic. The guy is really very malevolent.
    Before Dubya, Bliar and Bubba collaborated to kill many Iraqis in the nineties.

  46. Then Dubya did much more, killing far more Iraqis.
    Just to show that conserva-tives are more effective than lib-erals.
    Wait! Bliar was Dubya’s leading accomplice, after being Bubba’s.

  47. let’s get something straight, £8m is far too much money for anyone to ‘earn’ when people in the world (even this country) are starving. BUT (before you all leap down my throat) M. Wenger deserves a salary commensurate with what he has done, and continues to do, for the club. We wouldn’t be where we are (one of the THE top clubs in the world) without him.

    But I think he (and Madame Wenger) could just about survive on £1m a year (plus lunches*)

    * and one or two of those frothy coffees Tony likes

  48. what really worries me though is the thought of Tony strolling along Manly beach in a pair of budgie smugglers, its an image I’m struggling to shift…

  49. @blacksheep63
    November 13, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I get your point about “people in the world (even this country) are starving”, but before AW takes a pay cut I would propose that ALL football players at top level in the PL (perhaps Spain, Italy etc), should head the cue. Teenagers Millionaires after a few short months??

    Then your point is far more pertinent…but to pick out AW’s alleged 8M salary as the first is at least unfair!

  50. @Tony Atwood, I see you’re referring to my comment in your piece from a few days ago. If you had read it all, which I suspect you had, I did say that very few of us, if any, can know what it’s like to manage a club from day to day, managing overpaid kids, dealing with the media etc. What we can comment on is what we see on the pitch and I don’t think we have to be football managers to do that. If one of our players is being continually out manoeuvred like Chambers was you don’t ignore it, you do something about it. Also bringing on a player who has never scored a goal in a league game in the 90th minute to rescue a point when you could bring on a proven goalscorer like Podolski five or six minutes earlier seems daft.

    It seems ok to criticize Merson for his poor management at Walsall without any overall knowledge of what he had to deal with there. Would Wenger have done any better managing that Walsall team? Who knows? But Merson didn’t have access to international players and probably a tiny budget. If you’re going to look at a situation then do so in detail, you certainly do when it is pro Wenger.

  51. @blacksheep63, Wenger is on a good salary whilst lowly Arsenal employees don’t get a London living wage. Gazidis, when questioned about this said it’s a complicated issue. Really? Why? You give your low paid workers a rise. What’s complicated? If it is then explain why? Wenger is a man with socialist principles I believe, so if I were him Id’ be saying I’ll take a big pay cut so wages can be increased for those on low pay.

  52. £8 million is peanuts for what Wenger has done for the club.

    The Wenger detractors are obsessed and will churn up any old BS to try to justify their opinions. Along with the media they are in complete denial or deliberately ignore the clubs off field achievement. The finance needed to buy land, build a stadium and redevelop Highbury proved difficult as Arsenal was not granted any public subsidy by the government. The club had to seek other ways to generate income, namely by adopting a policy of buying football players for low transfer fees and selling high.

    At the same time we had the Russian arrive and make his Billion pound investment in players. Then they picked off the best left back in the league. Man Citys money arrived, they too invested heavily and again some of our best players were nicked.

    Now I have no idea how hard this can be for a professional, top Manager to take. Knowing he has to make profit on transfers for the good of the club and watch his best players leave to doped clubs. I cannot imagine many other Managers that would work under those restrictions.

    All I do know is that he stayed loyal. We have a magnificent stadium that others do not. We somehow maintained our status in the Champions League.

    £8 million seems a very fair reward and I do not begrudge him one penny for what he has done for the greater good of the club over his own personal ambitions.

    Fans who harp on about Mr. Wengers wages are entitled to their views but IMO they are an embarrassment. Wenger has contributed significantly to Arsenals success off the pitch and this has heavily subsidised his wages.The sale of Nikolas Anelka alone generated £20 million which contributed to the new state of the art training facility – previously we had an archaic shared facility. The fact that these same people do not allow you to use the stadium or oil money as mitigating circumstances, shows how blinkered and unfair they are. The same with the 9 year taunts, it was as if we achieved nothing in that period whereas we probably made our greatest achievement of all time.

    £8 Million is an absolute bargain. A player on £100K per week is earning £5.2 Million per year and he doesn’t work half as hard and is far easier to replace.

  53. just been sent a link, seems that the author of the most anti wenger blog going has put our managers wages up to £11m a year with bonuses!
    Will not even bother putting the link here, this is a blog known for playing very fast and loose with Arsenal numbers to suit its agenda, and no, its not Le Grove.
    Agree on the living wage, but that is not Wengers fault, doubt if a Wenger pay cut would equate to an increase in wages for low paid staff. Wenger has talked of a socialist wage structure, but other than that, is there evidence he is actually a socialist?

  54. I am sure that if every player in the [extended] squad, was happy to subtract a couple-thousand or so quid out of his weekly pay-cheque…and placed it to a collective for our lowly paid staff at AFC – it would make a difference.

  55. 3 points;
    1) the madest man is a man in love. AW loves AFC!
    3) Re the point about players not wanting to move countries. As I understand it, Phil Jones moved to MU because he didn’t want to leave the North West (or whatever you call that area!)and his family.
    3) Bankers is such a generic name. The poor cahier in my local Barclays shouldn’t be killed! (and I am not in the banking ‘industry’!).

  56. Mandy and Walter.

    I would pay Wenger £11 million a year, he has earned every penny as far as I am concerned.

  57. Just seen the video of the spuds – Arsenal 4-5 win. Who was blamed in those days for a bad defence? And to think it was the invincible defense…?

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